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What is Red Thread

Red Thread is a foliar disease that occurs during periods of high heat and moisture and will usually appear during late spring and summer. Red Thread symptoms will show as brown or red patches throughout your lawn. Thankfully, with this turf disease, the crowns and roots of the plant are not affected. Therefore this turf disease is mainly cosmetic and your turf will eventually make a full recovery on its own. Red Thread disease got its name from the “Antler-Like Structures” called Sclerotia which is produced by the fungus known as Laetisaria Fuciformis. This visible red or pink fungus will infect the tips of the leaf blades and are easily visible with just a quick glance.

Pink or Tan Patches

From a distance, the disease Red Threat will appear as round patches of pink or tan grass that are about 4 to 8 inches in diameter. The pink is caused by the Sclerotia that infects the leaf blade, Sclerotia generally infects flocks of grass but generally only reaches out about 8 inches in diameter. One important distinction between Red Thread and other similar diseases like dollar spot, pink snow mold, and pink patch is a close inspection is by the presence of sclerotia.

Type of Grass.

Outbreaks usually occur in low-maintenance turf strands like residential lawns, golf course roughs, and athletic fields. The disease Red Thread is most commonly found on the following turf types:

  • Kentuck Bluegrass
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Tall Fescue

Should you use Fungicides for Red Thread Control

The use of a fungicide to treat Red Thread is up to the discretion of the homeowner. Since the turf grass will recover on its own, applications do not change the long-term outcome of the turf’s viability. However, the visual appearance of the disease can be a nuisance to well-manicured lawns and therefore may warrant an application if a home owner would like to see their turf recover quicker. Regular fertilization/feed programs for lawns can also help turf recover. Fertilizers can help promote rapid turf recovery and will greatly reduce the disease severity.

If it is decided that a fungicide is needed to treat Red Thread on residential turf, make sure to contact Wells Lawn Care so a professional can use the most effective fungicide to clear the pathogen.